Auburn Spotlight, Jin Lee

"I’ve always been awed by how my singing can make people happy and joyful."
Jin Lee
Senior, Auburn University Department of Music

Spotlight Interview

Jin Lee is a senior in the Auburn University Department of Music pursuing a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. A native of South Korea, Lee has received numerous awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, where she is a two-time regional winner and national semifinalist. Lee has twice been named an "Emerging Artist" at Vann Vocal Institute in Montgomery and has performed numerous leading roles with the Auburn University Opera Workshop. She was named one of four winners in the Auburn University biennial concerto competition last year.

Lee was selected to perform at “Showcase: The Work of Creative Scholarship” on Sept. 29 at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. “Showcase: The Work of Creative Scholarship” is a public exhibition featuring the creative scholarship and work by Auburn University faculty and students in the fields of fine art, performing arts, creative writing, applied design and other related disciplines.

Why did you decide to come to Auburn?

I moved to Auburn from South Korea because of my father’s job. The year Auburn won the national championship, my father traveled frequently back and forth, and he always talked about how people in Auburn were passionate and how pretty the town was. After finishing my first freshman year in Seoul, South Korea, I moved to Auburn with my family in 2013 and transferred to Auburn University without applying to any other schools. Auburn was my first impression of the United States and it was totally different. Seoul is a big city with crowded people and high buildings while Auburn is a peaceful, small town full of kindhearted people. I really love it and feel at home. I’ve always had the option to move back to South Korea, but I didn’t want to leave this lovely town.

What made you fall in love with music?

Singing in front of people has been a joy of mine since I was a child. I’ve always been awed by how my singing can make people happy and joyful. In sixth grade I started taking professional singing lessons and from there music became my only goal and life routine. Music is a worldwide entertainment. However, after coming to Auburn, I realized that music is also another way to learn how to live in our society and world. Everyone is different but we live together, embracing all the differences that we have. Music is also about embracing each other’s individuality and making music beautiful together. No one can be abandoned or underrated. Musicians constantly communicate with others to create more beautiful sounds. By experiencing and learning this journey about making music together with friends in Auburn, I started to love music more and more.

How have your experiences in the Department of Music shaped your time at Auburn?

I spend lot of time in Goodwin Music Building where the Department of Music is located, and it is the place where I can get my energy and motivation. Other music students inspire me as well when they practice hard and show passion about studying music. In Goodwin, we share all our concerns and difficulties that we confront while studying music. When there is an opera performance or choir concert, we gather together at school, even over the weekend, and rehearse. If I have competitions, I have to put more time into individual practices and be diligent on time management. My commitment to the department, plus my classes, has challenged me, but I believe it has helped me grow.

What is your favorite Auburn tradition?

My favorite Auburn tradition is when people greet each other with “War Eagle!” Whenever I hear that, I feel a barrier between people disappears and we become one family. One time I heard “War Eagle” in New York and it made me relieved and happy about having the Auburn Family there as well. I always find the Auburn Family wherever I go and we’ll shout “War Eagle” together. If I go back to Korea in the future, I might hang a huge Auburn flag in front of my house so that people will know I’m part of the family.  

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to graduate in December 2016 and hope to find an internship in the music industry or music business. I want to learn more about how classical concerts and performances are held in performance halls before pursuing a job in classical music production. My goal is to support classical musicians, perform in shows and have the opportunity to spread my love for classical music.